Southside Community Center eyes kitchen expansion project with new funding

Southside Community Center eyes kitchen expansion project with new funding

ITHACA, N.Y.—The Southside Group Heart supplies a plethora of crucial afterschool and preteen programming to hundreds of families every single week, moreover regular monthly community foods, a food pantry and ready-to-take contemporary, absolutely free foods for local community users on the streets between other programming. They hope to develop that with a a short while ago approved influx of funding that will assistance improve the center’s cooking location.

All the meals are produced by head chef Sharon Payne, who would make extra than a hundred meals a day—all from the confines of the center’s incredibly modest kitchen, at 305 South Basic Road in Ithaca.

“Because the space is so compact, there is only so substantially we can do,” Southside Neighborhood Center Deputy Director Kayla Matos stated.

“Our head chef Sharon helps make food so our young children can have seconds,” Government Director Chavon Bunch stated. “I would say about a hundred are made every single day.”

For the duration of price range time, Southside was awarded $200,000 by the City of Ithaca for a 2023 job to fund the substantially-wanted kitchen renovation. Extra fridge and freezer space, additional stovetops and counter house are all priorities in the renovation, and plans are in the will work with a contractor.

“Really, the aspiration is to provide far more packages in and be in a position to create extra effortlessly,” Matos stated. “We’d like to spotlight cooking lessons for the kids, incorporate a senior breakfast, amplify group meals and welcome the kids into the kitchen area to prepare dinner with Sharon. House economics is totally dismissed in universities currently.”

Mom and dad and staff members also eat, Bunch mentioned. “I am Sharon’s again-up, and it’s a ton of perform. There can’t actually be two people today in there, but it’s genuinely rough.”

Southside has partnered with neighborhood farms in the past for refreshing produce. Normally, elements are generally procured from Wegman’s or BJ’s Wholesale Club.

“Hopefully there are other farms we can speak to to function some thing out,” Bunch mentioned.

Matos also stated that Southside attempts to have heat foods available to people in require to pick them up following several hours.

“We try, each and every night time, to have extras for any individual who will come in off the streets,” she mentioned.

Though logistics haven’t very been labored out however, Bunch stated they are hopeful that the job will start and end during the break in the afterschool programming at the stop of the summertime.

Bunch and Matos said that another objective, when the kitchen update is done, will be for the space to serve as a ghost kitchen area for group users.